Flip 5 Big Ten Players to Michigan

Submitted by LKLIII on July 13th, 2017 at 3:29 PM

Slow day at work; low content until fall camp begins.  Let's see how this speculative thread plays out....

If you could have a magic wand and instantly remove 5 Big Ten football players from their respective rosters & put them on the Michigan squad, what 5 players would you choose and why?

Variables to consider:

  • Overall talent of the player & ability to make an instant impact on our squad after just attending fall camp.
  • Our own needs/weakness on the Michigan roster.
  • How the removal of that player would negatively impact a potential opponent.

For example, if a players would undeniably upgrade our own team and that player was on a team we don't play this season, maybe you take him regardless.  But on the other hand, maybe there is a player you'd like to flip over to us, not so much becasue we are terrible at that position, but because it'd be a crippling blow to the other team to lose him.

Assume this is for one season only, so a talented freshman or sophomore isn't intrinsically more valuable than a talented RS Senior.

My 5 would be:

  • Saquan Barkley, RB, PSU
  • Trace McSorley, QB PSU
  • Jamarco Jones, LT, OSU
  • Billy Price, OL, OSU
  • Nick Bosa, DE, OSU

Rationales--I don't see a reason to pick any member from a team we don't play, and in terms of winning the Big Ten East, we can afford to lose to Wisconsin & Florida.  So for me, the most benefit would be to materially damage the prospects of our two Big Ten East rivals--PSU & OSU.  Maybe other posters will think differently & decide to take some lock-down CB or LT somehwere in the Big Ten West or something (if one exists).

The PSU picks aren't really shoring up significant weakness on our own roster, but taking them would be a crippling blow to the PSU offense.  Stack the box against them without Barkley & McSorley, and force the 2nd stringer to throw up desperation throws as he struggles through progressions, and choke out the ability of (now fist string) Sanders to help his QB out with the running game.

The OSU picks are simply about tilting the balance in the trenches more in Michigan's direction.  You shore up the interior with an All American caliber lineman that is an insurance policy in case Kugler or Ruiz isn't ready or if Onwenu doesn't have the stamina, and take their best tackle off the board.  Michigan would still have to plug the hole at one tackle position, but with Mason Cole suddenly freed up from the LT slot, you've got a bunch more options.  Bosa is their best pass rusher, and removing him helps make the job of our offensive tackles much easier and also gives us even more depth/rotation possiblities on our DL.

My picks don't address our weakness/raw WR corps or the defensive backfield.  Nor does it address out lack of depth at DT.  But I think the picks materially increase our chances of winning both the PSU & OSU games, which was my main focus.

So, have at it.  What's your top 5 you'd love to flip?  Do you try to hurt key opponents?  Or simply select for our own weaknesses?  Do you target a team broadly to take their best players?  Or just annihilate their depth chart at one key spot, like taking the top 3 or 4 QBs off of OSU's depth chart, regardless if it directly helps our own roster deficiencies?




July 13th, 2017 at 3:44 PM ^

I acknowledged not taking CBs in the OP.  

My rationale:  I think we have a solid shot a winning all of other Big Ten East games even with a raw defensive backfield.  And once we hit the OSU & Big Ten Championship game, my hope is that JT is still bad at downfield throws, and by the time we play Wisconsin or Nebraska or whatever in the BTCG, our own raw CBs will have sufficient enough experience to not be a major liability.

But you know, other posters may have a different opinion.  Which is why I'm inviting people to post up their 5 specific "flips" and explain why.




July 13th, 2017 at 3:36 PM ^

I'd pick 5 guys from Rutgers. You know, as a charitable kind of thing, like the Make A Wish Foundation? All 5 would die with big ass smiles on their faces... 

SF Wolverine

July 13th, 2017 at 3:37 PM ^

I will take the best LT in the conference, the two best corners and then trade my last two picks for the right to mightily dong-punch Meyer and Franklin just before we kickoff against them.  Sound like a plan?

CRISPed in the DIAG

July 13th, 2017 at 3:37 PM ^

OP - it looks like you're taking players to weaken other rosters? If that's true, PSU is probably hurt more than OSU.

I'd scour other rosters for OL starters and DL depth. If I had time. And I don't. So if others want to give it a try, I'll gladly read and upvote your post(s).


July 13th, 2017 at 3:47 PM ^

They kind of do this generally in the HTTV.  But during the season when they do game previews the really drill down to the individual players.

It just isn't available in the dog days of summer.  But you can find info on other sites as to relative expected strengths/depths of other teams.  

I certainly didnn't have time to scour the internet to look at the nuances of Illinois or Iowa or Maryland rosters or whatever.  But in my 5 picks, I also wanted to materially hurt our toughest games, so I only limited my search to PSU/OSU.


July 13th, 2017 at 3:41 PM ^

Barkley alone would be enough to cripple PSU, no need to add McSorley. Plus, I'm not convinced he's an upgrade over Speight/Peters, at least in the Harbaugh offense. Barkley would instantly make our rushing attack deadly.

I'd agree with the 3 OSU guys, and would probably add Denzel Ward, so that we'd have a fairly proven CB such that we're not relying on both Long and Hill to be ready right away.

There's no WR/TEs in the conference that I feel would be a significant upgrade over what we have (except Fumagalli, but there's more pressing needs elsewhere). OL and DL both add some major talents, LB could probably benefit from guys like Cichy/Scales/Baker, but to me the DBs are the biggest question mark for starters, and Ward is probably the best in the conference.

Stringer Bell

July 13th, 2017 at 3:41 PM ^

Seems silly to take McSorley just for the sake of weakening PSU. He wouldn't play for us nor would he do well in an offensive system where he actually has to make reads and make accurate throws of varying distances.


July 13th, 2017 at 3:55 PM ^

Agreed--if I were to change one pick it'd be McSorley, simply because he'd be the only one of my 5 original picks to basically ride pine.  Taking him out of spite for Franklin & to put the kibosh on those deep 50/50 balls that he would fire towards our inexperienced CBs.

I just have this nightmare in my mind of the night game White Out at Happy Valley where we are hanging in well enough, but in the 4th quarter, McSorley just starts pulling 30-40 yard pass plays out of his ass because our guys blow their coverages.


July 13th, 2017 at 3:52 PM ^

I'm interested to see how their offense evolves this year. Their OL should be better (just because they were pretty awful but young last year outside of Elflein). They'll have to break 1 new starter there. Barrett is never going to be more than a shoddy QB and an excellent RB/Field General. Their skill players should be worse just from the loss of Curtis Samuel. Outside of Samuel they had no dudes that really worried you. Weber is a solid back, but great RB's don't scare me much with our defense. He's not better than Barkley or LJ Scott. You can probably debate his ranking in the conference with Wadley, Ty Johnson, Lo Harrison, Rodney Smith, Chris Evans, and Justin Jackson. He's probably in the 3rd-5th range in the conference.


July 13th, 2017 at 3:42 PM ^

I would take the top LT, the Top CB, and the top safety.  Those pick ups would really help strengthen Michigan's team.  Then I would take Barkley from PSU and Barrett from OSU as that would really hurt those teams and improve Michigan's chances of winning the conference.


July 13th, 2017 at 3:45 PM ^

OT Jamarco Jones, OSU (we'd move Cole to RT in this fantasy world)

  • Probably the best OT in the conference. If we shored up the Tackle situation I would really not have any concerns about the offense

CB Denzel Ward, OSU

  • Supposed to be as good as the two 1st rd draft picks OSU lost, would at least push Hill and Long to compete for the two starting CB spots

DT Steven Richardson, Minn

  • Would probably start over Mone, but would at least push him and provide interior DL depth

CB Rashard Fant, IU

  • Would most likely start at CB, is very good and has a lot of experience

WR Nick Westbrook, IU

  • Big, talented receiver with experience who is also an Academica All-American. Would be a good player and leader for the young WR corps

As many players from IU as from OSU...and I thought about Tegray Scales. But if you solidified our secondary and RT situations, and added a DT depth piece, I think this team would be an easy playoff pick. Obviously we need some guys to get real close to hitting their potential this year. 


July 13th, 2017 at 4:43 PM ^

Yeah you could go either way with that one, I guess. I suppose my thought was that the value gained from a known talent at WR over our best freshman was greater than Billy Price over Kugler. If Kugler indeed holds off Ruiz for the C spot I think we will be fine there. Not great, but fine.


July 13th, 2017 at 6:59 PM ^

Jamarco Jones would be a must have. Barkley is a must have. Take any one of Hubbard, Bosa or Tyquan Lewis.

I am not to worried about cb. I think we have three good players there but a tested high caliber starter would add depth to the position and stronger play on the field.

I like the idea of filling holes to make a better championship caliber team.


July 13th, 2017 at 3:58 PM ^

Why on earth would you want footsteps McSorley?! Speight is a better option than McSorley in my personal opinion, but not only that, you chose McSorley over Barrett, which Barrett isn't a fantastic QB either but he's a far superior athlete and that usually covers his mistakes. I just can't see any viable reason for McSorley. He is the most overrated player in the Big 10 Unless he has made an exponential jump from last season


July 13th, 2017 at 4:00 PM ^

Good offseason post.

I would grab at least one CB, but probably a second as well. Not only are we lacking surefire starters at CB, but the whole secondary lacks depth. 

For me it would probably be:

1. CB Denzel Ward, OSU

Provides big help in the position of greatest need.

2. DE Joey Bosa, OSU

Yes, we are stacked on the D-line, but Bosa is just so good, and also not playing against him would be very nice.

3. OG Billy Price, OSU

Shores up an interior line with lots of question marks.

4. LB Jack Cichy, WI

How much fun would Don Brown have with this guy?!

5. OT Brian Allen, MSU

I realize Jamarco Jones of OSU is probably a little better, but it would be enjoyable to watch MSU try to block Rashan Gary without Allen. Mo Hurst and Gary would be meeting up in the backfield for many belly rubs.

oriental andrew

July 13th, 2017 at 4:08 PM ^

I think in any fantasy world, you have to take Barkley. he is far and away the best running back in the conference and looks to be a high first rounds pick. we haven't had one of those in a long time.

and you pass (no pun intended) on McSorley. replace him with Ward.


July 13th, 2017 at 4:12 PM ^

With Barrett and Barkley in the backfield you're going to win 90% of your games no matter what your line or secondary you role out.


Yeah Barrett cant throw 5 yards down field but that doesnt matter with that one-two punch in the back field.